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Bruce Vento Trail to White Bear Lake - Don’t Bypass the Business District

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Please Sign, Comment and Share “Bruce Vento Trail - Don’t Bypass White Bear Lake Business District Petition before July 14, 2021

Attend and encourage friends, business owners and trail advocates to attend the July 14, 11:30-12:30 or 5:00-6:00 Zoom Virtual Open Houses to contribute your opinions and opportunities for the route.

See Plan Background:–-whitaker-street-county-road-j

Route Plan:

Please continue to develop innovative strategic options that encourage direct access to the White Bear Lake Business District per the original Bruce Vento Trail Master Plan, preferred by bicyclists, visitors, walkers, handicapped and businesses accessing shopping and dining as their destination. The current proposed plan amendment bypasses the preferred destination of downtown, following Bald Eagle Avenue and Boulevard to Bald Eagle Lake and Park.

Decision Rational:

  1. The Original Bruce Vento Trail Master plan and existing Route follows the Rail Line from St Paul to Hugo with no bypassing the route. This plan and route has been in place for over 50 years.
  2. The direct Bruce Trail Trail Master Plan paralleling highway 61, to and through White Bear Lake business district is the preferred route and destination for bicycling, tourists, walkers, students, families and residents.
  3. Safety: Using the direct Bruce Vento Master plan route by the rail line as only 4 intersections to cross vs over 16 intersections for bikers, walkers and cars to navigate using the Bald Eagle bypass route.
  4. Rails with Trails: There are existing precedents in the nation and state that encourage the use of Rails with Trails, with the trail 25 feet from the rail center line separated by chain link fencing.
  5. Existing crosswalks, sidewalks, parking lots and paths are within 5-25 feet of the existing rail line.
  6. The existing rail line is seldom used, rarely in peak walking and business hours, estimated train use and sighting are less than one per week.
  7. The rail line was planned to be abandoned, and will eventually not be cost effective, so will be abandoned in the next decades.
  8. People want to see, use and travel to cities that are bicycle and walk friendly within the city’s business district. White Bear Lake is a prime tourist and shopping destination, like Hopkins and the Minneapolis Greenway, and having trails and routes to businesses increased economic vitality and reduces car and mass transit use.

Guiding Design Principles

  • Get as close to and use the original Bruce Vento Trail Master Plan route to and through the White Bear Lake Business District where possible &/or create safe trail routes to the businesses where possible.
  • Design to allow easy cost effective use of the rail line path when the rail line is abandoned or the rail line allows parallel use.


  1. Partner with the rail line, city, businesses, Rails to Trails, Bicycle Alliance and other stakeholders to create strategic options to use the existing Bruce Vento Trail rail line coordinator to and through the business district, per the original Master Plan, to enable residents and visitors the ability to easily, directly and safely access the business district.
  2. The appropriately 1 mile section north of the business district can easily be used within the 50 feet rail line criteria &/or using Hugo Road.
  3. Division Street can be used both as the Safe Route to Schools and north route to the West Business District (Cup & Cone, Caribou, dining, shopping, etc)
  4. Evaluation of options for south route to City Hall from highway 96 using 50 feet rail trail criteria, with the businesses and residents by this route or use the frontage road and streets to access City Hall and the West Business District.
  5. Improve crosswalk safety at highway 96 and Lake Ave intersections for riders and walkers accessing Lake Ave trail.
  6. Use Hugo Road / Long Avenue route to and from 8th Ave. By theater and Arts buildings and parks.
  7. 8th Street to Bloom (school entrances) to 4th Street (Business District and Cup & Cone)
  8. Bald Eagle Ave to 4th route to Business District

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